James Webb photographed a galactic collision

NASA has published a new image taken by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The image shows a deep space object II ZW 96. It was formed as a result of the collision of two galaxies.

Colliding pair of galaxies II ZW 96. Source: ESA/Webb, NASA & CSA, L. Armus, A. Evans

II ZW 96 is located at a distance of 500 million light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Delphinus. Its two constituent galaxies are in the process of merging. The forces of gravitational interaction have already changed their forms beyond recognition. Two bright galactic nuclei can also be seen in the JWST photo. They are connected by bright outgrowths of star-forming regions, while the spiral arms of the lower galaxy are deformed by gravitational perturbations.

Observations of II ZW 96 were carried out as part of a project aimed at studying galactic evolution. Colliding pairs of galaxies are among the priority targets for JWST. Due to the presence of extensive regions of active star formation, the same II ZW 96 emits a huge amount of infrared radiation. 

Curiously, one of the first people to see the picture of the II ZW 96 was US Vice President Kamala Harris and French President Emmanuel Macron. The photo was shown to them during a visit to NASA headquarters in Washington. Harris and Macron were also shown a new image made by JWST of the famous Pillars of Creation.

According to https://www.nasa.gov

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